2017 Spring Benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award

May 16, 2017

John Pawson and Hiroshi Senju
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com

On May 16, 2017, The Noguchi Museum held its annual Spring Benefit and the presentation of the fourth annual Isamu Noguchi Award to architectural designer John Pawson and artist Hiroshi Senju. There was also a silent auction of works including Noguchi’s metal sculpture Sky Above (1988), two Leah Raintree photographs—Another Land: Sun at Noon (2016) and Another Land: Emanation (2016), and Robert Stadler’s ashlar PDT (bench) (2015).

2017 Honorees

John Pawson
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com

John Pawson

John Pawson was born in 1949 in Yorkshire. After a period in the family textile business he left for Japan, spending several years teaching English at the University of Nagoya. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the Architectural Association in London, establishing his own practice in 1981.

Pawson has spent over thirty years making rigorously simple architecture that speaks of the fundamentals but is also modest in character. His body of work spans a broad range of scales and typologies, from private houses, sacred commissions, galleries, hotels, airport lounges, ballet sets, yacht interiors and a bridge across a lake. In 2016 he completed his first major public project – the interior remodeling of the former Commonwealth Institute building in London, an iconic example of post-war British Modernism, as the new permanent home of the Design Museum. From the outset his work has focused on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light and materials – themes explored in his book Minimum, which examines the notion of simplicity in art, architecture and design.


Hiroshi Senju
Photo: Courtesy of Senju Studio

Hiroshi Senju

Born in Tokyo in 1958, painter Hiroshi Senju is noted worldwide for his sublime waterfall and cliff images, which are often monumental in scale. He combines a minimalist visual language rooted in Abstract Expressionism with ancient painting techniques unique to Japan. Senju is widely recognized as one of the few contemporary masters of the thousand-year-old nihonga style of painting, using pigments made from minerals, ground stone, shell, and corals suspended in animal-hide glue. Evoking a deep sense of calm, his waterfalls, which he creates with incredible delicacy by pouring paint onto mulberry paper on board, conjure not only the appearance of rushing water, but its sound, smell and feel.

Public installations include seventy-seven murals at Jukoin, a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, and a large waterfall at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The Benesse Art Site of Naoshima Island also houses two large-scale installations. His work is in numerous collections, including the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan; and Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo. The Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa opened in 2011 in Japan.

Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Spencer Bailey
Hiroko Murase
Eric Shiner
E. B. Alexander
Naomi S. Antonakos
Ate Atema
Yigal Azröuel
Brownell Bailey
Spencer Bailey
Jane Borthwick and John Beeson
Noreen and Ken Buckfire
Alejandro Carosso
Mariana Cook
Nanci L. and Richard F. Czaja
Peggy and Dick Danziger
DeWitt Stern
Jenny Dixon
Susan Dunne
Donald H. Elliott
Peter and Anne-Marie Embiricos
Christiane Fischer
Eileen and Andrew Fisher
Maxine and Stuart Frankel
Olivia Georgia
Stephanie Goto
Andrea and David Holbrook
ITO EN (North America) Inc.
J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
Eileen and Peter Jachym
Ryunosuke Kasahara, Gallery Kasahara
Miki Kashiwagi
Noriko Kashiwagi
Kaufman Astoria Studios
Susan and Peter Kessler
The Kitano Hotel New York
Lucy W. Lamphere
Patricia and Andrew Langer
Anki Leeds
Jennifer and Steven Lorch
Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti
Jonathan J. Marvel
Xanda McCagg
Karen McDonald
Nion McEvoy
Kathy and Joe Mele
Steven L. Merrill
Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
Robert Moric
Cédric Morisset
Hiroko and Satoru Murase
Atsuko Murayama
Helen Nitkin
Jennifer and Malcolm Nolen
Jim and Mary Ottaway
Pace Gallery
Louise Parent and John Casaly
Russel and Julie Patterson
Paul Kasmin Gallery
Judy and Peter Price
Joel Rosenkranz, Conner-Rosenkranz NY
Alex Ross and Andy Augenblick
Elizabeth and Samuel Sachs II
Barbara G. Sahlman
Nicholas Sands
Phyllis Seevers
Jacqueline and Isaac Shapiro
Yoshiko and Paul Sheard
Eric Shiner
Ellen and Daniel Strickler
Stuart Match Suna, Silvercup Studios
Sundaram Tagore
Michael Tavani
Frederieke Taylor
Erik and Cornelia Thomsen
Jane Timken
Toray International America Inc.
Carol Warner
Ben Watson
Anthony Williams
Kazumi Yanai

Isamu Noguchi Award Honorees